Firefighters knock down blaze on Great Road in North Smithfield

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – Local companies responded Wednesday morning to a fire at a home on Great Road.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene of the incident around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18. North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Services requested mutual aid, with water tankers responding to the two-story structure at 150 Great Road.

According to town property records, the 1939 Colonial is owned by Salzberg Revocable Trust, although the home was vacant and recently sold, according to reports.

Crews knocked down the blaze amid morning rush-hour traffic, and one firefighter had to be taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion. The two-alarm fire reportedly started in the basement of the home.

Workers were at the scene securing the structure, which suffered extensive damage, Wednesday afternoon. While the property in not condemned, it is reported to need much repair.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Instead of trying to find the cause of the problem and finding ways to prevent it, you lash out, very telling and very sad. We could’ve worked together to get to the bottom of the issue, but you choose the opposite. I’ve already shared all of said info before during our online debates, which you lost badly I might add. And wouldn’t saying all of their names violate the terms and conditions, of posting on here? You’re going to say that since I didn’t prove anything in this post none if it factual, which is just the opposite. I’ll respond later, if Sandy says is okay to post the elected people names

  2. I’m calling BS on BM. Please back up all those comments. Share with all the people what only you seem to know. Who makes sexist remarks during committee meetings? What were they and to who were they made? Nobody has multiple sexual harassment/assault charges against them. Do you understand the difference between criminal and civil? Who has ACLU violations against them and what are they? Just an FYI, the ACLU doesn’t issue “violations”, they investigate Civil Rights Violations. Did you mean to say something someone did is being investigated by the ACLU for a Civil Rights Violation? Please tell us who and for what. Who supported a racist/freedom of speech violation ban? And what does that even mean? How is anyone’s first amendment rights being violated? Please explain. Do you understand the Bill Of Rights and who it protects people from? Blocking someone on Facebook is not a first amendment violation. Who committed election law violations? What were these violations? And last but not least when have you ever asked me about polluted water or anything else for that matter? How did I respond “Why would i talk about this issue with you”? Was it in person, email, or social media? Since we have never had a conversation in person can you provide a screen shot? If you want anyone to believe you then I suggest you share details. Nobody should be able to make the type comments you made on this page and not get called out to back up their accusations. This craziness has to stop. People need to be called out and held accountable when they make these stupid comments like these. Sandy has a policy against exactly this but it must get exhausting trying to police all the comments. So Bryan, let’s hear it. Show all of us you are a credible person and not just someone looking for attention.

    John A. Beauregard

  3. Well that’s very unfortunate that my 11pm comment did not post then. It said submitted, maybe there was a server error.

  4. As a matter of fact Gary, I have contacted numerous entities regarding the water supply issue in Union Village, including calls to both North Smithfield and Woonsocket…after my calls, the day of the fire, Woonsocket arrived to check the hydrant. I will be following up…

    I spoke with a gentleman in North Smithfield and yesterday visited the town offices…I don’t just “talk the talk.” Are we all at fault, yes we are and for so many reasons too few pay little attention to what we expect, or not, from our elected officials.

    And yes, I will formally address my concerns before the Town Council and the Water Supply Review Committee and hope that something will be accomplished.

  5. Your early comments made it clear that you didn’t understand the circumstances controlling the water supply in your neighborhood. I made an attempt to provide details based on work spanning two decades to improve that very concern. Sorry I bothered. These intercommunity infrastructure matters are complex. I know about ten people who diligently tried to create a better system but ultimately, penny wise and pound foolish reigns! Let’s be clear. We the entire town including all writing here are responsible for the conditions that exist throughout town. Some of us try to make improvements and even succeed on occasion.
    Others just complain. Rather than post here have you contacted your water supplier to ask what they are doing in response to the recent events?

    • I’ll try to post what was lost in submitting my comment, whether it was deleted or not, it was submitted.

      So, if I’m reading Gary’s comment correctly, we the residents are to blame for the failure of our roads, the fire hydrants not being usable, the pollution of our waterways not being addressed? How is it our fault?

      How have roads that were recommended to be repaired immediately, tossed aside for roads that were given a rating of 4 or lower, or even parking lots for that matter? How have people been suggesting needed fixes to their roads, their fault for not repairing it. In fact, I believe it would break a few laws to try and fix the roads ourselves.

      How is it that people who have private wells at fault for not knowing about the fire hydrant issue in a different section of town? I took your advice though, and talked to my water provider, they didn’t respond as the ground doesn’t talk back.

      Yourself and NS Police Info page, have blamed residents for not upkeeping the police department. How is it the residents, who aren’t in that building every day, responsible for filling out work orders and fixing those issues? Why are residents being blamed for the task force not doing their job, which we were told changed at one point after suggesting repairs? I believe that was during the 2nd info meeting.

      How has bringing up issues, and them not being addressed or fixed our fault? That’s why people complain, that’s why people don’t volunteer, it shows that the elected people don’t care. It doesn’t help that some elected officials have ridiculed people who bring up these issues. JB – “Why would i talk about this issue with you” was his response when I asked about the polluted water near me, back before the 2022 election, and a few times I brought up the issue again before the 2020 election. (Some do, some don’t, this be addressed later in the comment).

      Now, if you’re blaming the residents for electing people that refuse to fix things, I can accept that. People need to do more research on the candidates. I would say email them but they say they don’t receive it or ignore it, and say they never got it. I will however do some of the research for people without naming them, as that would violate the rules.

      A current elected person has multiple sexual harassment/assault charges against them. A current elected person committed election law violations. A current elected person has multiple ACLU violations against them. Multiple elected people supported a racist/freedom of speech violation ban. Multiple elected people don’t understand basic math/economics and how it works. Multiple current elected people like to violate 1st amendment rights. A current member supports a person who has committed election law violations. A current member has made multiple sexist remarks to other committee members during their meetings together. Multiple elected people have made multiple “surprising” remarks regarding residents.

      Now those people won’t be getting my vote, they never did before, but I hope more people will follow. I hope more people are able to run for positions and remove the problem people. I hope that people who have made comments saying that people who don’t show up, or only comment here or VB, or just watch on YouTube realize that their comments only make people not want to run. There’s a lot of finger pointing going on by current and former elected people, why is it the fault of the finger pointers?

  6. I just want to say this. With or without fire hydrants, fire personnel know what to do. That’s why we have tankers. We can’t thank them enough to put their lives on the line. THANK YOU ALL.

    • Gabby, I completely agree. To watch them in action, not knowing if a family was inside, was very difficult. This town needs a deeper appreciation and the need for a public safety complex that can bring both the fire and police services together. In the meantime, nothing is more important to safety than infrastructure, and that means investment, maintenance and planning by elected officials.

  7. It’s a shame the Town did not think to replace that line when Ocean State Power ran their huge waterline from Market Square to the power plant reservoir across from Slatersville Reservoir. I believe that was mid to late 1980’s IIRC.
    Would have been a good time for a sewer line too…

  8. The water side of this discussion again exposes the cloudy relationship with Woonsocket Water that has been an issue for decades. A bit more than 20 years ago the NS Water Authority recognized the challenge and was working to find a way to take over the Union Village supply obligation. That group however was disbanded with no plan for future resolution of the problem where some lines are owned by Woonsocket, some by private parties no longer in existence and some of unknown ownership. Further complicating the issue is reality that since NS has no town wide water supply, (just like sewers) property taxes have nothing to do with water supply. So good luck to anyone who thinks their tax bill entitles them to action for service on those lines. And to my knowledge there is no “contract” with Woonsocket for that area. Matters related to service in this area have gone before the PUC on more than one occasion with no gain for NS. A major pipe leak in 2018+/- brought Woonsocket Water personnel to Golden Blvd but their only response was to shut off the water to about a dozen homes leaving repair to be determined by anyone but them! Personnel from the Slatersville Water Company, which has absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for Union Village water were the only option for making the repair. Near that time, planner Kravitz and I started a discussion which did not get support. It would have progressed to a bond paid back by assessments to property owners. Some day common sense will prevail, pipeline ownership will be resolved and the water supply for that area will be upgraded to become the complete responsibility of either Woonsocket Water or the Slatersville Water Company. Until then, it is what it is, and it will only get worse. Just my opinion!

    • Thank you Gary for another history lesson but what you failed to leave out was the addition of water to that area was done on the cheep. The only solution would be to asses the residents the bond fee and to upgrade area but can the residents afford the assessment. What can not be done is have all the taxpayers of the town pay for the upgrade. That would be unfair especially to the residents who have wells and pay for there own maintenance. Maybe all North Smithfield residents who received water can pay for the upgrade with an increase in water rates. Just my two cents.

      • I didn’t suggest nor do I advocate that the whole town pay for an upgrade. Even pushing it to the other water system isn’t appropriate. Whether this Union Village system was done cheaply, or it was done in a time where there was much less regulation or a combination of the two, doesn’t matter, an upgrade is a necessity. It will be a challenge for some but it has to be done and assessment of cost to serviced property is the most likely path. The former water authority was working to create a healthy and fiscally sound water supplier for a wider area of town but people with no plan at all decided otherwise. As to history, we either learn from it or suffer the consequences which is what this is.

        • 1) I don’t understand by the Water Authority was disbanded. I wasn’t in town during this episode, so hearing the history is absolutely important. 2) Did that committee have minutes? Just curious.

    • In this town, no matter how high you have climbed up on the food train, every town official, current or former, has a way to place blame on others: NS water authority, Woonsocket Water, Town personnel, etc. Gary reports that he obviously tried to remedy the situation, but didn’t get any assistance, so it just went by the wayside? Of course it did.

      Don’t be fooled, we’ve heard this before. It is shameful that not one, can take any responsibility for allowing entire neighborhoods to be at risk, but you will notice that they excel at pushing their pet projects.

      I will say this, we were fortunate that loss of life did not occur. Had it, blame could be placed on all, current or former officials.

  9. I live across the street from Mary for 10 years and not once did I ever see any hydrant flushing being done on Great Rd. That hydrant’s feed line or the hydrant itself is likely rusted/clogged to hell.

      • Mary, nor any other hydrant on that road. Who does the flushing of hydrants in Woonsocket? Have we in N Smithfield failed to schedule this on Great Rd, as it is a Woonsocket water line? Was it expected that Woonsocket would do it? Were they supposed to? I’d like to see the original contract to see if it was discussed. How many decades has that line been allowed to corrode, collect debris and rust?

  10. As a person that was onsite, water tankers were required because the hydrant across the street is antiquated and was inaccessible. The tankers were required because the hydrant, maintained by the City of Woonsocket has extremely low water pressure.

    We are fortunate that the new owners, who I am told have two young children, were not in residence. God only knows what might have happened!

    As an individual that has resided in Union Village for over 37 years, we need to insure that either the City of Woonsocket, to whom we pay a water bill, or the Town of North Smithfield, to which we pay taxes, takes responsibility to keep us safe and the lack of accessible water, via the hydrant, in this congested area, is negligent.

    And to all the North Smithfield firefighters, Thank You. The mutual aid provided by Blackstone, Millville, Woonsocket and Smithfield was also very much appreciated. Thank you all for the great work, under very difficult circumstances.

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